So this project I got to use frikin lasers.

And I know what you might be thinking random person on the interweb

“wElL tHaT dOeSn’T sEeM sAfE fOr A kId To Be DoInG. yOu CoUlD bLiNd SoMeOnE.”Most of us probably know that so it will not stop us.

Anyways lets jump on right in to the rest of the blog post.

First of all we needed to make a project start mind map to plan out what questions we had and our thoughts on what they (lasers) are. We wrote examples of what we knew and how they are used. This is how mine looked.

Then we edited it at the end of the project which is now when I’m writing this post but I’ll show that to you later.

Next we did a TOOOOOON of workbooks and textbooks but I’m not gonna bore you with all that, so I’ll put some of them here but you don’t have to read them.

From this we learned about different uses for lasers but more importantly we learned about the law of reflection. If you want a super in depth understanding of it then look it up but here is a brief explanation. With pictures of course.

So the law of reflection basically is all light travels in straight lines. The light that travels towards a surface is the incident ray. When the incident ray hits the surface the normal ray is at 90 degrees. What ever angle the incident ray hits the surface in relation to the normal it’s reflective ray bounces off at exactly the same angle in relation to the normal. That is called the reflected ray. See diagram below.

Next we did the law of reflection lab where we tested our understanding of the law and proved it with an experiment. During the experiment we had a laser, paper, pencil and mirror. We placed the mirror on the paper and drew the normal line. Then we shone the laser onto the mirror and recorded the incident ray and the reflected ray. We then measured their angles in relation to the normal line to see if they matched – guess what? They did!

Then we did a TOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNN of math workbooks which taught us Pythagorean theorem. Which basically is that the sum of the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other 2 sides. A squared + B squared = C squared see diagram below. This also meant we knew about how to calculate missing lengths and  angles in triangles.

Next we used a laser simulator, to make a right angled triangle that was a Pythagorean triple and proved the law of reflection and Pythagorean theorem.

We were then able to use all this understanding to create group laser displays. We designed and made a board using mirrors that when they were set at the correct angles the laser light bounced off to create a triangle. We chose a space theme for our background here is our making process.

Finally to review the curricular competencies.

 Curricular Competencies Proficient 1 Questioning and predicting: Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal interest All class time is used efficiently for learning and project work without distractions. 2 Communicating and Representing: Represent mathematical ideas in concrete, pictorial, and symbolic forms A scientific experimental procedure is developed and implemented with all required steps of the scientific method. A conclusion about the law of reflection and the pythagorean theorem is formulated and supported by precise measurements. 3 Applying and innovating: Co-operatively design projects The laser triangle is accurately planned, built, measured and labeled.  All group members contribute equally.

Competency 1 – I think I worked well in class and with my group and completed all tasks.

Competency 2 – I think both my simulator and law of reflection labs, as well as our final project show that I am able to understand all the steps in an experiment and follow them in a scientific way. I can draw conclusions and make precise calculations and measurements and when at first my groups laser did not work I was able to recalibrate the angles and adjust the mirrors accordingly.

Competency 3 – I think i contributed to my group well and even though there were some errors at first we were able to correct them and produce a great laser display.

Ok so lastly back to that mind map I showed you at the start with some added info! Enjoy